US Sports Participation Research

Participation Trends

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Understanding how many people play your sport, how often, and who they are is absolutely fundamental to running a strong business. It’s only with this information that you can grow your sport or grow your share of a sport’s market.

Without assessing past, present and future participation trends, you’re at risk of falling behind the curve, selling to customer segments that no longer exist or missing opportunities to attract new customers.

Participation data helps you to…

  • Identify new target players
  • Tailor participation initiatives
  • Monitor outreach efforts among specific communities
  • Generate investment with independent, robust, insight
  • Identify potential market size
  • Get hyper local – understand trends in individual localities (additional research may be required)
  • See detailed trends in play patterns over time

Sports Marketing Surveys, on behalf of the Physical Activity Council (PAC), leads the largest, most robust annual sports participation research program in the USA. Long recognized as “the gold standard” in its field, the research is essential for brands, retailers, federations and venues looking to understand their markets and identify new groups of potential players.

Over 100 sports are monitored every year. All reports are available for $99 to SFIA members and for $249 to non-members. Reports can be purchased here.

  • Data is gathered from 18,000 household interviews.
  • The survey accounts for adult and child sports participation, from age 6+.
  • For each sport, segment participation into three categories: total; core; casual.
  • View detailed demographic breakdowns, highlighting differences in participation rates by age, gender, geographic region and household income.
  • Compare participation trends over the last five years.

For those looking to take their participation analysis to the next level, SMS USA also offers an interactive dashboard reporting option. This enables quick, easy, and powerful comparisons between sports, identification of micro and macro trends over time and much more.


To sample the dashboard, click here. You can view real data from two sports, Table Tennis and Eliptical Machines. Use the following credentials:

Username: Demo

Password: Demo


For pricing or to request more information, contact us using the button below.

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